Authors: Angela Dorsey
Tags: #pony, #horse, #angel, #dream, #thomas, #silver, #guardian, #dorsey, #joanna, #angela, #angelica
But the whinny he heard from the woods.
Could that be the pony he sought? He turned and struggled back
toward the gate. How would he find Thunder among the trees?
The answer came immediately. These
young ponies that followed so closely on his heels, they would know
where to go. Their senses were much more acute than his. They would
be able to see, hear, and smell things he couldn’t. They’d find the
pony in the woods for him.
He smiled with a sudden realization. If
he wasn’t mistaken, the woods bordered his own land. Thunder
himself had gotten as close to Kathy as he could. Life was
miraculous sometimes. Wonderful and inexplicable. He would try hard
to remember that Thunder had done this, so he could tell Kathy.
They cut across the empty fields toward
the lights, and as they drew nearer, a feeling of dread grew in
Joanna’s heart. Mr. Williams’ stable yard was very bright. Lights
as dazzling as streetlights illuminated the ground around the
buildings, and while there were plenty of shadows between the three
massive barns, they would have to cross the lighted areas in order
to get to them.
What if Mr. Williams had posted
a guard? She knew that’s what her dad would do if their ponies were
at risk, and Mr. Williams had a lot more money to hire guards than
her dad did.
At least they hadn’t finished
putting up the lights. She could see more poles lying on the ground
in the stable yard. A small backhoe was parked against a fence with
its digging bucket resting on the ground in front of it. By
tomorrow night, a lot more of the yard would be illuminated,
including between the barns. That was one thing to be grateful for
anyway, that they’d come tonight instead. And at least the shadows
were very dark – a welcome result of the bright lights. Once they’d
passed through the illuminated sections they should be able to
search in safety for smaller entrances to the barns.
Then, once they were inside,
they had to find Mr. Thomas – which brought up another problem. How
were they going to convince him to come quietly away with them,
especially after he’d already attacked David and tried to capture
Angelica? The task seemed impossible, even though now they had
Cally on their side.
Joanna already knew what
Angelica would say, that they had to try. Cally, of course, would
agree, and Joanna did too. Her problem was that she couldn’t see
they were going to do it.
David was the only one who might
not want to save Mr. Thomas. He still seemed moody, hardly saying a
word to Cally as they crept across the fields. Of course, none of
them were talking much, and Joanna was glad he’d chosen to say
nothing to Cally rather than something mean. The silence had been
hard enough on her new friend.
Finally, they reached the fence
surrounding the stable yard. They peered through the boards at the
brightly illuminated barns. From the look of things, Mr. Williams’
employees had been working hard all day, putting in the new
lighting. If only they hadn’t been so efficient. At least, with
only one night passing since Tango was stolen, Mr. Williams
probably hadn’t had time to install any other security measures,
like alarms – unless alarms were already installed.
“What do we do now?” she
whispered to her companions.
All eyes turned to Angelica.
“There is no way other than to
run to the shadowy area between the two closest barns.”
Joanna was disappointed, though
she too could see there were no other options. “All at once? Or
should we take turns?”
“I will go first. That way, if
anyone sees me, the rest of you will know to escape.”
“No, let me go first,” said
“Wait. What do we do if we see
Mr. Thomas?” asked Joanna.
“You get me to talk to him,”
Cally said. “Even if he thinks I’m my mom, he’ll still listen to
Angelica nodded. “Okay. I will
run across.” She held up her hand to stop David from speaking. “And
then when I am safely over, you will all follow me at once. When we
are in the shadows, we will search for side entrances that are not
as well lit.”
“Okay,” Joanna and Cally said as
David looked down at the ground,
his jaw clenched.
“David, it makes sense for me to
go first. You know why.”
When David nodded, Angelica
smiled briefly and slipped through the fence. She darted across the
bright ground like a golden vision and moments later disappeared
into the shadows between the two closest barns.
David got up to follow her, but
stopped when Joanna touched his arm.
“Why does it make sense for her
to go first?” If David knew something about the mysterious
Angelica, Joanna thought it only fair he tell them.
“She’s magic,” David said,
surprised. “Didn’t you know?”
“What?” Again, Cally and Joanna
spoke at the same time.
“She has powers. She can heal,
and glow, and do all sorts of things. You mean you really didn’t
“I didn’t.” Joanna said, then
noticed that Cally was quiet. “You knew?”
“She must’ve done the glowing
thing to Grandpa. I thought she had a flare or something like that,
but I wasn’t sure. Everything was suddenly so bright that I covered
my eyes. I didn’t believe Grandpa when he told me she burst into
light, especially after he seemed to forget about her.”
“Did her glowing hurt him?”
Joanna asked David.
“No. She only does it to startle
people who are giving her trouble. She doesn’t hurt anyone. I don’t
think she’s allowed.”
? If she’s
magic, who stops her?” Suspicion suddenly clouded Joanna’s mind.
“Hey, how do you know her anyway?”
“We don’t have time to get into
it now. Short version is that she saved my life when I was a kid,
and I trust her completely. Now come on. She’s waiting.” He slipped
through the fence boards, and waited for Joanna and Cally to
“Go,” he whispered when they
were ready. They ran. One second, two seconds, three seconds, four,
five, six, seven, eight, and then they were inside the blessed
shadows. Joanna collapsed against the barn wall and looked back.
There was no movement from the yard. No one had seen them.
So why was the hair on the back
of her neck prickling, as if she were being watched?
Cally and David moved off,
deeper into the shadows, but Joanna stayed put, waiting. She was
probably being silly.
Then a dark form trotted into
view. A moment later, a second joined it. German Shepherd dogs.
They both sniffed at the ground, then the darker one walked stiffly
toward Joanna hidden in the shadows. The black and tan dog followed
it, growling softly. Mr. Williams had found a new way to protect
his horses. Guard dogs. She could see the hair rising on their
backs as they drew near.
She needed to signal her
companions – and yet if she said anything, the dogs would bark,
alerting Mr. Williams and his hired help. Or they would attack!
“Come to me, my beauties.”
The dogs stopped short, their
heads raised. Joanna was as surprised as the dogs. How had Angelica
gotten back so quickly? She’d been halfway down the aisle between
the two barns just moments ago. More of her magic?
The teenager walked toward the
dogs, not even pausing when she reached the light. She held her
hand out to the two beasts, murmuring endearments.
The dark lead dog barked, and
Angelica stopped, knelt down.
And miraculously, the dog
dropped to his belly and crawled toward her. The black and tan dog
followed the first, whining now instead of growling. Angelica
laughed, her voice musical, as she hugged the two dogs. “My
friends. It is so nice to meet you.” She looked back at Joanna.
“Come meet Bandit and Oliver.”
Joanna edged toward the two
dogs, but stopped short when Angelica suddenly jumped to her
“So that is why,” she said,
looking at Joanna with wild amber eyes. “I must go. Silver Sky…
someone has found him in the woods… Mr. Thomas…” She turned to the
dogs. “Bandit, Oliver, be good to my friends.” A sudden flash of
light made Joanna gasp and fling her arm across her eyes. One of
the dogs yelped.
Then the light vanished. Joanna
slowly lowered her arm. Angelica was gone – and the two massive
German Shepherds who’d been fawning at her feet were now staring at
Joanna. She watched in horror as the fur on Bandit’s back rose up.
Oliver’s lips curled and a snarl slid from his throat.
Joanna took an automatic step
backward, but when both dogs lowered their heads and took two steps
toward her, she stopped. They could run a lot faster than she
could, and would if she tried to get away.
But was she any better off
staring them down?
The fillies led him straight to the
white pony. This was Kathy’s Thunder? The pony looked bigger than
he remembered. But it had to be him.
He approached Thunder with outstretched
hand and soft murmurs. The pony edged away from him, nervous, but
The man moved closer. That’s when he
noticed Thunder was tied to a tree. He hadn’t run because he
With his heart beating wildly, the man
turned a full circle, searching the dark forest, but the night was
too intense. The moon shadows too black. Anyone could be there,
even feet away, and he wouldn’t know. He could hardly see even the
darker young ponies, unless they moved. How was he to see a human
who might be trying to hide?
He froze. Impossible!
There was a human, glowing faintly as
she walked toward him and the herd of ponies. The person stepped
slowly, gracefully, down the trail he’d walked just moments ago.
Light sparked along the young ponies’
mane like fireflies as the person came near. With his mouth open in
awe he glanced back at Thunder. Light was dancing over the pony’s
mane and back, along his fine hair, shimmering in his tail.
He suddenly remembered the girl he’d
seen in the shed, the one who wasn’t really human. So she hadn’t
been a dream. He was never sure any more. Either that, or this was
a dream too.
That made more sense.
Who are you?” he demanded.
The girl didn’t answer. Just moved
The sounds of the forest rose around
him: birds twittering, frogs croaking, boughs sighing. A breeze
caressed his face and he heard a sound like a far off flute, yet
not a flute. The wind maybe, or the moon and stars singing to him
The strange girl stopped yards
The pony you think of as Thunder has
agreed to carry you,” she said, her voice far more melodious than
all the sounds combined. “Please, mount.”
The man backed until he could feel the
pony’s solid side behind him – and this time Thunder didn’t shy
away. This had to be a dream for sure. And if it was just a dream,
he could afford to play along.
When he was secure on the pony’s back,
the girl walked into the forest. “Come.” The word wisped behind
her, and one by one the young ponies stepped after her. Last of
all, Thunder followed. How had the pony been untied?
But it didn’t matter. It was just a
dream, and in dreams anything could happen.